Spring 2021 in person graduation for Slippery Rock University.

Spring 2021 in person graduation for Slippery Rock University.

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Hannah Runas started this petition to SRU class of 2021

SRU 2021 Senior Graduates! This is the letter that will be sent to student administrators, but I need your help to form a community that wants to have a safe and in person graduation! (All I need is a signature) 

"January 2021

Dear President Behre and Student Administrators,

We are writing to you as members of the graduating class of 2021. We are appealing to you in regards to the prospect of the SRU 2021 graduation ceremonies being once again “virtual”. 

As members of the SRU 2021 class of graduates we implore you to find ways to have the 2021 ceremonies live and in person. 

We fully understand the circumstances surrounding the current and unprecedented health crisis facing our world at this time. However, having lived with this situation for close to a year we feel the university’s administration has had ample time and opportunity to make this situation the best it can be, and what we believe we deserve.  We deserve a live, in-person ceremony. 

As a whole we have been patient and accommodating over the past two, and now current, semesters.  We have been compliant with mandates and changes to classes, activities, events, living situations and academic schedules.  We have missed out on sports, events, social networking, internships, academic achievement opportunities and celebrations.  We have done everything asked of us and have done so with little complaint.  

However, we now feel it is time for us to voice our concerns and be heard.  Graduation is a milestone in our lives, it celebrates our time at SRU.  We want to partake in the tradition of this celebration the way it was intended, in person. 

We feel the university and its administration has had time to devise a plan for in person graduation.  Think outside the box! The stadium is more than big enough for social distancing. Masks can be worn and required.  Limited tickets can be distributed. Faculty and administration have access to vaccines. Ceremonies can be broken into smaller groups over several days.  Students should have the option for in person or virtual, but should not all be forced into another virtual graduation ceremony. If there are students who still prefer virtual, then offer it to them, but the rest of us want our live ceremony back.

We, and our parents, are more than willing to follow any guidelines deemed necessary to attend a live graduation in the safest way possible.  We would rather sit in the rain at the stadium, than receive our diplomas via Zoom.  The ceremonies could also be broken into smaller groups and spread out over several days.

If the issue is state mandates, then petition the PA Department of Education and the Governor's office for permission.They have done so for other organizations throughout the pandemic including sports team’s, car shows, home shows and various other groups, whose events were far less momentous than graduating.  There were also various other colleges, universities and high schools throughout PA that found ways to honor their graduates appropriately. We have faith that our administrators can also be that smart and come up with a way to host our graduation in person. We all chose SRU because of all it had to offer us, not just academically, but in all of our campus relationships. We have worked with you along the way over the past 10 months to adjust to circumstances beyond our control. Now is your time to step up and work with us to take back some semblance of normalcy.

We truly believe that smart, creative people work at SRU, who care deeply for the students who call Slippery Rock their home away from home.  Please come together and creatively find a way to make the last event at SRU what we feel it should be, and what we deserve. 

Thank you.

 We look forward to working with you to host a live 2021 graduation.         


Members of the Class of 2021"

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At 1,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!